The Way DAY 40 - Who is Jesus, Pt 1

DAY 40 - Who is Jesus, Pt 1

Luke 9:18-20

Decisions can be hard to make. The word “decision” means “to cut.” You’re cutting off other options because you’ve committed to this one. Today we see Jesus urge his disciples to make a decision that could change their lives. We face the same decision today if we want to follow Jesus.

All four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - urge us to ask, “Who is Jesus?” We’re pressed to decide. Jesus now presses that question on his Twelve Apostles, but indirectly: “Who do the crowds say I am?” They rattle off some decent guesses.

A lot of people saw something special in Jesus, but very few saw him as the Messiah. The same thing has happened in every generation through today. People answer that question - who is Jesus? - in one of four ways. We should be aware of these possibilities both for our own benefit but also so we can be more aware of what others think. Let’s look at two answers.

Some openly deny Jesus. Many of the Jewish leaders in Jesus' time called him a false prophet leading people astray. Leaders like the Pharisees recognize Jesus’ charisma or even his miraculous power, but they think he's in league with Satan. That accusation only got worse after his crucifixion. How could Jesus be their hero if he was killed by their enemy?

Others appropriate Jesus. They pick what they like about him, add it to their existing beliefs, and leave the rest. For example, Islam doesn’t accept Jesus as Messiah but claims him as a prophet. They accept his virgin birth but not his crucifixion because they believe God would never let a prophet die so shamefully. They appropriate Jesus. Other religions, like Ba’hai and Mormonism, do the same. Many people who are Christian in name only do the same: “I believe in Jesus but I’m going to do things my own way.”

Think about a time you had a hard time making a decision. What did you do? What happened afterward?

Lord, sometimes it’s hard to know the right decision. Guide me and give me wisdom. Amen.

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